More often than not, clients are not in the same city as the agency they are working with, which can make relaying information difficult. However, the power of technology has made long-distance work relationships function. This is evident with Capstone Agency’s client, the Higher Education Partnership of Alabama, which is headquartered in the state’s capital, Montgomery.
Typically, we communicate with HEP through our account executive, Erin Brown, or with team conference calls. Nonetheless, communication via telephone and email sometimes isn’t enough and face-to-face interaction is needed. The HEP team traveled to Montgomery, Alabama for our first client meeting of the 2015-2016 school year on October 21.
First, we met with the HEP directors, Brett Johnson, Diane Causey and Gordon Stone. Once introductions were out of the way, our AE highlighted all of the work we’ve done so far and went into the final decision-making process regarding the new HEP logo. Meeting with the client is a great time to see your work come to life and gain their perspective immediately versus waiting for a response to an email.
After meeting with the HEP directors, we stayed for another meeting with a number of communication directors from various universities across the state. This was an added bonus because we got to meet the people who communicate and advocate for a specific university. Each team member formed a professional relationship with a university representative and will continue to connect with each other for the remainder of the year regarding Higher Education and what is happening on their campuses. Meeting these professionals allowed us to network represent not only Capstone Agency, but also ourselves.
Here are some tips that we found helpful for client meetings:
Prepare to be on the same page: When working with a team, it is so important to communicate clearly and have everyone informed. This is especially important when you are about to relay your hard work to the client. Make sure to meet before the meeting and know each person’s talking points so everyone is equally informed on the client and the team’s strategies and ideas.
Take notes: Remember to write down the important stuff. Typically, client meetings are long and it is difficult to remember all the facts. This is especially true if a client wants to change an approach or a color scheme; it’s easy to forget all the important details. Taking notes will help spark your memory when your team members meet next.
- Be an active listener and share your ideas: When client meetings are long, staying in tune can be difficult. It’s natural to get sidetracked and lose focus. Remember to be an active listener and focus on what the client is saying. Doing this will help you take great notes and better understand their needs. Actively listening can also spark the light bulb. If an idea comes to mind be sure to speak up and share your opinion. More than likely the client will love it!
This blog post was written by Samantha Vlahos. She is in the media relations department of Capstone Agency.